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Categorically refusing to lend a helping hand to the deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif, PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari on Thursday said he did not see Sharifs playing any role in the future political setup of the country.
“I do not see any role for the Sharifs in the future political setup of the country,” Zardari said in press briefing also addressed by his son, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto. “The PPP will not support the PML-N,” he added.
The PPP’s co-chairman rejected the epithet of ‘friendly opposition’ and said it was a misplaced opinion that the PPP supported the ruling party in the past, adding that any steps towards cooperation were actually designed to foster democracy and the supremacy of parliament.
“The PPP has always supported democracy and the rule of parliament because the country has no other option except for democracy. We never gained any political favour from any PML-N government and we do not intend to get such favours in the future as the PPP does not expect anything positive from the Sharif family,” he added.
Zardari also rejected that any meeting had taken place between the opposition and the ruling party.
“There has been no meeting and there will be none in the future. The PPP has always operated on the basis of consensus and the entire party is united in this opinion,” he said, adding that the PPP only kept links with Sharif when he was in exile.
“For maintaining a relationship, one has to speak to one another. I have had no personal friendship with Sharif because I am not fond of Siri Payee,” he quipped in a lighter vein.
Zardari rules out cooperation with Sharif
The former president lambasted the PML-N and Sharif for their style of governance and claimed that Sharif had never truly recognised democratic norms. He said the former PM continued to misuse state resources such as official security protocol and vehicles despite his removal from power.
He said during the PPP’s rule, political people were not taken as prisoners but the present government wrongly imprisoned many on political grounds.
He said previously he did not play a political role because of his presidency but now he would take an active interest in by-election in NA-120 constituency of Lahore – which fell vacant after Sharif’s disqualification by the apex court – and would ensure a tangible impact.
Speaking on the occasion, Bilawal said he was actively participating in political activities in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) and Punjab. He revealed that he would be holding public gatherings in Mansehra and Attock respectively on Aug 19 and Aug 26.
He said two right wing parties – PML-N and PTI – were dominating the political scenario which, according to him, was not a good sign for the country. “The PPP represents a progressive ideology and its legacy will continue,” he added.
He said formation of the Milli Muslim League by a banned outfit was an alarming development which needed to be addressed by law enforcement agencies. “This has further damaged Pakistan’s image internationally and is a clear violation of the National Action Plan (NAP),” he said.
Bilawal said he planned to go to each part of Pakistan to fulfill the dream of a democratic, peaceful and prosperous Pakistan as envisioned by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto. “Accountability must be across the board but the current system seems to be geared to target the PPP,” he added.